Italian Wedding Cookie
Pastelitos de boda (literally, "wedding cookies") are a traditional dessert at Italian weddings. Made with walnuts, pecans, or almonds, they're a sweet way to thank guests for sharing the day. To give as favors, tuck two into a tiny clear box along with a note imprinted with a fitting sentiment or your wedding date. Type on a computer, print on colored vellum, then cut the messages into tiny strips.
- 1 cup almonds,(you can use pecans, pistachio or Walnuts) plus 40 more for decorating
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1 large egg white, beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread 1 cup nuts on a baking sheet; toast until fragrant, about 12 minutes. Let cool.
Put toasted nuts, flour, salt, and cinnamon in a food processor; process until nuts are finely chopped, about 1 minute. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle, cream butter and 1 cup confectioners' sugar on medium until pale and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Add vanilla and almond extracts, and mix until combined. Add the almond mixture, and mix on low until dough just comes together.
Roll dough into twenty 1 1/2-inch balls; place on ungreased baking sheets, spaced 2 inches apart. Flatten each ball slightly with your palm.
Toss 1 tablespoon beaten egg white and remaining 40 whole almonds in a small bowl to coat. Press two nuts into each cookie.
Bake cookies until lightly browned around the edges, about 25 minutes. Transfer baking sheets to a wire rack; let stand until cool enough to handle.
Place remaining 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar in a medium bowl. Roll warm cookies in sugar, reserving any remaining sugar. Return cookies to baking sheets. Let cookies cool 15 minutes, and roll again.
Store in an airtight container up to 1 week.